Dining out can make Monday less Monday-ish but finding a place to eat presents a challenge because many restaurants are closed then. Here’s a handpicked list of places — starting with fancy restaurants and working down to more casual spots — that I recommend for chasing away a case of the Mondays.
1220 Main St. and 816 N.E. 98th Circle, Vancouver; 360-718-2942 (downtown), 360-718-7046 (Hazel Dell); amarostable.com
This reliably good restaurant is known for excellent cocktails and well-executed classic dishes like wedge salad topped with fried onion and bleu cheese crumbles ($11) and New York steak drizzled with chimichurri and served with mashed potatoes ($38). Amaro’s Table’s wildly popular happy hour includes rotating draft cocktails ($9) as well as popular bites such as house chips ($6), carnitas tacos ($6) and exquisite ricotta doughnuts ($5).
777 Waterfront Way, Vancouver; 360-768-5249; www.dosalasrestaurants.com
DosAlas serves up glitz and glamor on The Vancouver Waterfront with a choose-your-own-adventure attitude. Dress up, don’t dress up. Order everything on the menu or just some bites and cocktails. The Slay All Day menu includes bites like pork belly skewers ($21) and short rib sopes ($17), seafood dishes such as the chef’s choice ceviche and grilled octopus ($34), and larger plates to share like the dosalas paella ($80) and a 48 ounce bone-in Tomahawk ribeye ($180). They all taste better with a tequila, mezcal or one of Dos Alas signature premium margaritas ($18-$25).
1905 Main St., Vancouver; 360-571-5010; www.labottegafoods.com
Italian-inspired antipasti ($12-$16), soups ($5 for a cup, $10 for a bowl), salads (half $9-$10, full $18-20), pasta (half $9-$10, full $18-$20), entrees like lasagna bianca ($21), and an extensive wine list draw crowds to this intimate restaurant, deli, neighborhood market and wine cellar in uptown village. This restaurant doesn’t take reservations, and wait times vary on Monday nights.
Roots Restaurant & Bar
19215 S.E. 34th St., Camas; 360-260-3001; rootsrestaurantandbar.com
Brad Root’s elegant farm-to-table restaurant in east Vancouver fills with nearby workers in business attire for power lunches and dinners. The menu shifts with the seasons and features starters like Dungeness crab and avocado with radish and vermouth vinaigrette ($26.99), soups of the day ($8.99), salads like roasted beet with goat cheese and hazelnuts in a cara cara orange and balsamic vinaigrette ($14.99), and entrees like pan roasted Alaskan halibut with bacon asparagus risotto in a lemon butter sauce ($41.99).
316 N.E. Dallas St., Camas; 360-210-7498; camasfeast316.com
Tim and Melissa McCusker’s quirky but posh steakhouse in downtown Camas provides a grown-up place for dining in an otherwise family-friendly area. Regulars focus on the middle column of the menu, which features excellently prepared steaks with choice of prime or choice cuts from an 8-ounce filet mignon (choice $48, prime $57.75) to the 24-ounce tomahawk ribeye (choice $78, prime based on market price).
108 W. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver; 360-726-6914; www.mavsbrewing.com
Calista Crenshaw opened her restaurant featuring 25 taps of craft beer and scratch-made pub grub late last summer in the downtown spot formerly occupied by the Old Ivy. The menu features munchies like spiced nuts ($6) and dirty fries ($12), salads (half $7-$8, whole $9-$12), burgers ($14 -$16) and sandwiches like BLT ($12) and Cubano with pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles ($13). Specials range from smoked chicken carbonara to chili verde pork enchiladas. Mav’s also has a kids menu for guests 12 and under based on the favorites of Crenshaw’s son, Maverick, for whom she named the business. No trip is complete without a visit to the Anthony Bourdain bathroom, a shrine to the late culinary personality covered with drawings, photos and pages from his books.
The Hungry Sasquatch
2110 Main St., Vancouver; 360-597-3223; www.hungrysasquatchpizza.com
This funhouse for children and adults alike features craft cocktails ($11-$14), a stellar craft beer selection, Yeti-sized pizza slices ($5-$7.50) and arcade games. The Hungry Sasquatch serves food for all-ages dining until 10 p.m. The other side of the space houses The Thirsty Sasquatch, a bar for patrons 21 and over. An outdoor patio sprawls in back, a great space to chill on a warm day.
8070 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver; 360-524-9000; www.rallypizza.com
Rally Pizza presents itself as just another neighborhood pizza joint, but specials like piquillo pepper salad ($12) and chorizo and manchego cheese pizza ($20) show the true experience and talent of the owners. Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham worked for Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland before opening this spot in Vancouver’s Heights neighborhood.
2520 Columbia House Blvd., Vancouver; 360-699-7273; www.gingerpopthai.com
This cute spot for Thai food in Grand Central offers favorites such as salad rolls ($7-$7.50), glass noodle salad ($14), tom kha soup ($12) and pad ki mow ($13). I highly recommend the tofu fries with a trio of dipping sauces ($8.50) and the chicken wings ($9.50).
Pho Vi Van
16209 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Vancouver; 360-232-6678; phovivan.restaurantwebexpert.com
This east Vancouver restaurant offers a relaxing environment as well as soothing and generous portions of aromatic soups ranging from a flavorful vegetarian pho ($14.95) to spicy bun bo hue ($16.59) with beef and thick rice noodles in a fiery broth.
Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel
401 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; 360-833-0115; www.tommyosaloha.com
Vancouverites were sad when Tommy O’s downtown location closed, but the restaurant in the Camas Hotel serves many of the same favorite Hawaiian dishes, such as kalua pork ($13) and loco moco ($16) as well as elaborate sushi rolls ($7-$14), sashimi ($15) and poke ($15).